The JXD A1000 Arrived!

Tweets have been flying around all day as people get their shiny new iPads but the postman delivered something I was looking forward to for a few weeks.

Yes, the JXD A1000 arrived this afternoon. I tried a few games and videos on it and it works quite well! The bundled 720p trailers were a bit jumpy but lower resolution DVD rips were fine.

The GBA games I tried, F-Zero and Rayman Origins (original carts in the attic) played perfectly and it’s a pleasure to play them on a decent screen! The original GBA screen is notoriously dark.

The screen is huge, the sound is loud, controls are great with even a small nipple joystick that works in GBA games.

Not many things to complain about except for the fiddly volume control and how to exit a game or save/load state (press the power button briefly to bring up a small menu).
The instruction manual is written in Chinese which is a bit of a pain too and it’s impossible to charge it from a USB port and play a game/video at the same time. I’m sure you can plug it into a wall socket and it’ll be fine though.

Battery will probably be a problem too as it’s built in. I’m sure I’ll end up taking the thing apart and searching for a replacement when it starts to wear down.

Also, the device includes a couple of games and pictures that I’m quite sure haven’t been licensed…

Still, a great way to play old GBA, NES and SNES in a handheld and cheap too. I was rudely reminded that games back then were a lot harder than games nowadays and my son briefly tried to touch the screen in attempt to use the GUI. No, this isn’t a touch screen device!
It’s on sale at Focalprice where I bought it. Shipping takes a while but it’s cheap and very cheerful.

Allied Star Police is a pretty good twist…

Allied Star Police is a pretty good twist on the tower defense theme and you can get it for iOS here for free. This is a PopCap game designed by ten-year-old Owain Weinert.

PopCap met Owain in April when Make-A-Wish Foundation┬« of Alaska & Washington told us about his wish to make a video game. Owain (which means “little warrior” in Welsh) was diagnosed with pre-B Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia last year and has gone through lots of difficult treatments. But his dad said that what he really wanted was to hang out with “real game designers”. So we volunteered to help Owain make his video game during PopCamp. PopCamp is a unique time here when folks can tinker around with interesting ideas, learn lots of new stuff and share it with everyone else at the end of the week.

Is the iPad suitable for gamers? For iPa…

Is the iPad suitable for gamers? For iPad games yes, but really the device doesn’t interest me. I spend all my day at a desk where I have access to more powerful machines. If I was going anywhere would I lug around an iPad? Possibly but the price definitely puts me off as I do so little traveling. It’s not available on this side of the Atlantic yet anyway.

Some of my colleagues at work are going mad over the iPad but I wondered if it was suitable for gamers? Here’s one gamer’s review of it. The ability to play split screen games is interesting. I’d love to give it a go, but God, I’m trying to drum up the enthusiasm to finish this post quickly. It was never meant to be a gamer’s device:

Here’s the verdict:

If you have to question if this a true gaming device or not – then it’s not a gaming device. Its just a device with games on it.